Posts Tagged ‘magic’

5 for Friday.

June 9, 2017

The first week of Summer Vacation is in the books! The girls are enjoying themselves immensely. They’ve completed their chore cards every day but one – and then when they lost their phones for the evening, they were pretty quick to complete their chore cards the next day! Don’t worry too much – there’s plenty of time for fun and hijinx after chores. Let’s see what we’ve been up to! (Uh, otherwise known as “What’s. Your. Evidence? Heh.)

1. Bee’s been making her own fun, just like a curious, fun-loving, independent 11-year-old outta! Every night when I walk in, I ask how their day was, and I get stories stories stories like the girls are going to pop if they don’t tell me everything as fast as they can. So I was surprised when I looked over at the bookshelf the other night and saw this:


Isn’t that the prettiest sand art? I love the shape of the middle one best, and the colors in the one on the right would look perfect in my office. [Fun fact: 3/4 of my office is decorated with art designed by Bee-girl.] The sand art kit is something Bee got for Christmas – Santa knows how much we love crafts and crafting at my house – and I had forgotten all about it. But apparently Bee went excavating in her closet or among the shelves in the front room and found it…and then made pretty, pretty sand art without asking for help or, you know, telling anyone. I adore how independent my girls are becoming! They will make excellent grown-up!

2. That is, if I don’t kill them first. I am slimed out, you guys. No mas! NO MAS! The slime fascination started a year ago. I thought it would, by now, have abated, but no. Not my kids. My kids hang the hell on when they sink their teeth into something. Consequently, my kitchen counter looks like this:


Seven containers of slime. SEVEN. And it’s only “neatly” gathered because I snapped at them to do it. There was slime here, there, and everywhere, and I was seriously about to pitch it all. I love that my nerdlings know how to science slime out of borax, glue, lotion, markers, shampoo, and thin air (okay, maybe not that last one), but I’m about done with it. D-O-N-E, done.

3. I think I unleashed some sort of unstoppable force from a corked bottle, you guys, and the undo button doesn’t seem to be working. Trust me, I’ve been Ctrl-Z-ing that sucker all week and, yep, not working. See, I found a shoebox of Magic: The Gathering cards, and I thought, Oh, hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I taught Gracie and Bee? Bee wanted nothing to do with it, but Gracie…hoo boy. First, she loves organization. She was an ace at helping me to sort color, and then sort by category – creatures, enchantments, sorcerys, interrupts, instants. Then I made a few decks (nothing fancy because I didn’t have many cards) and taught her all the moves. Which wasn’t easy because Magic has a lot of details and moving parts. But Gracie’s whip-smart and picked it up and OHMYGODYOUGUYS. I wasn’t in the door five seconds before she was all, “Do you want to play some Magic?” I’ve created a monster. A very cute monster, but still…Summer4

4. My other bit of mad genius this week involves the television – which may be why Gracie is enthralled. I’ve been trying to get the girls to watch West Wing for AGES. Seriously. I just don’t know why Gracie won’t give it a shot! I got her into Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Lie to Me, Christy, Dr. Quinn (okay, guys, they were much younger and needed a family show!), and my sisters got them into Once Upon a Time, Vampire Diaries, and who knows what else! The point is that she should trust me and give it a shot. But no luck. Until…I maybe thought to bribe her with extra sleep time. I told her she could push back her wake-up time by an hour if she watched an episode of West Wing. That worked so quickly I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before! After that episode, I told her she could shorten her reading time from one hour to thirty minutes if she watched another one. Success! And then…she was hooked. We’ve been watching as we play Magic every night for an hour or two. It helps that she’s in love with Sam Seaborn, but I’ll take whatever I can get!

5. Of course Gracie and I were playing Magic and watching West Wing last night just after dinner. She wanted to get in a game and an episode before I dropped her and Bee off at Stepmom’s last night. We were in a time crunch, trying to finish all the things, and I needed to change my clothes. So I asked Bee to go get me a t-shirt. (I was in a work shirt that was not going to be going-out-to-Target appropriate.) Bee was gone a long time, and then came out with jewelry. “These are going to be you accessories…” and I saw what she had and my brow crinkled. Huh? Turns out Bee thought I was asking her to create an outfit for me for work! I saw what she had picked out: jeans and a t-shirt and a necklace and earrings. I wouldn’t have thought to put any of it together, but then again, I don’t have a single fashion gene in my body! I told Bee I was going to wear her outfit today and I did:


The t-shirt was too casual for work, but with black peep-toe heels and flashy jewelry, it work! The cardigan…I wasn’t too sure about that. I’m still not too sure! But I did it anyway.

So what do you guys thing? Does my outfit work today? Is the cardigan knot ridiculous? Isn’t our week of summer fun the absolute best?! I’m pretty proud of it. And of all the fun my girls had. It was a good mix of responsibilities and free time. (Though I’m sure the girls would disagree.) How do you guys regulate summer time for your kids?

Tell me in the comments. And make sure you have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend!




#Riotgram, Day 5: Something Magic.

June 5, 2017

I was going to use my silly string picture for “Something Magic”, but then I needed to use it for “How You Read” instead. So I went looking in my older pictures for a particular shot of toddler Gracie pulling every. single. book. off the bookcase…and peering over her shoulder to see if she’d get caught. (She totally missed the camera, for the win!)

Instead, I found this:


One of my favorite aunties [Hi, Auntie Cheryl!] reading to Baby Bee, back home in Massachusetts at my mom’s house. You want to talk about magic? I think there’s plenty stuffed into this moment. Family who loves me? Check. Reading to your babies even at this age, so they grow up to be readers? Check. Being back home in New England? Check. I happen to know that there’s snow outside. Check! And that pic was taken Thanksgiving night, so there is lots of pie about to happen. Check! [Except for Rhi. Don’t think about that particular night of pie, Rhi!]

There is so much magic happening in and around that picture of Auntie Cheryl reading to Bee, I just can’t stand it. Reading is awesome. And magic ain’t too bad, either.

The magic continues.

September 27, 2016

If you know me, especially if you know me in real life, you’ve heard of this place called Magic Target. And you know the special place that it has in my heart.

Way, waaaay back, when Target (and similar stores) only sold toys and household goods. If you wanted a “combo” store where you could shop for both home goods and groceries, you had to wade through Walmart. Back then I was broke enough that I often did. Then I heard of this magic rumor: these things called SuperTargets were opening, and they offered the same groceria/home goods experience. I turned up my nose because I didn’t think it was very sanitary, having dust from my birthday presents and sundry landing all over my food. I was so silly.

In between then and a later (but not too much later) time, Kim introduced me to my favorite wine: Jam Jar. It’s a sweet red wine, and for a time, we thought that, like black raspberry, it must only be available in New England. For we could not find it here. I tried every liquor store around – and believe me, there are quite a few! And then when I was perusing through the SuperTarget that is sort of near the house, but not as close, I found some. And lo and behold, Magic Target was thusly named.

But it didn’t stop there!

There was the summer that Kim and I were beckoning to each other wildly from opposite ends of the same aisle. I can’t remember what it was that I had found, but Kim had found a special release of Black Raspberry ice cream. I think we bought every last half gallon they had.

The next summer I found their black raspberry again (for the last time, sadly), and I was so excited, I whipped open the freezer door…and bounced it right off Gracie’s head. But her tastes run so similar to mine that she forgave me as soon as she saw what had caused me to run mad.

Magic Target is the only groceria around here that carries my new favorite quick dinner: Cracker Barrel Macaroni and Cheese. I don’t want to hear about how many preservatives or calories or anything else bad, please. I loves it and that’s that. Every single flavor (that doesn’t include the word “jalepeno”) goes straight into my cart, and then into my belly. And then I am happy.

A few weeks ago, my new colleague introduced me to the wonders of Noosa’s Mexican Chocolate yogurt. It tastes just like the mayan hottie cookies that Kim discovered! Only it’s yogurt! And GOOD FOR YOU! She could only find it at Walmart, and we all knew I wasn’t making that trip. It would take 40 minutes, just for a pack of yogurt. (Even if it was the tastiest, most cookie-est yogurt ever.) We started looking at every grocery store we visited. And you will absolutely guess where I found it: Magic Target. (Where I bought some for me, and some for Corrie. Because I am a good bestie.)

You’d think the magic would taper out, or at least wait awhile before dispensing the next little bit of magicky goodness. Except, last weekend when Gracie and I were out shopping, my eye happened to catch on something as I was looking around for my 90-calorie soft-baked chocolate chip cookies:


Carr’s Ginger Lemon Cremes! I tried them once before during one Superbowl or another. I found them at Costco and even though it’s been years since I’ve seen them there, I still check every single time I make the pilgrimage, hoping against hope. They’re ginger snaps sandwiching the most perfect lemon cream, and somewhere is just the right amount of lemon zest that sings with a pop! of happy! at unexpected moments. I’m a little in love with them.

Magic Target has delivered yet again. Because MAGIC! Everyone needs a little magic now and again. Luckily for me, I know just where to find it, even if I don’t know what shape and form to expect from trip to trip. Dang if if that doesn’t make the adventure a little more exciting!

The Thanta Bwiefing.

February 5, 2013

For those of you who weren’t blessed with my pitiful little hyperventilating self yesterday, yesterday was A Day. The morning started out quite normal; we were all bustling around getting ready for school and for work, when all of a sudden, Gracie bit down the wrong way on a piece of cereal, yelled, and then declared that she was pretty sure she could pull her tooth out. And then she did. Normal so far, yes? Except then it happened…

After biting down on a paper towel to stop the bleeding, Gracie says, “Mom, I think the tooth fairy should give me some extra money. Since I pulled the tooth myself.”

Oh ho ho ho – the words sounded innocent enough, but I looked up at my darling little eight-year-old because those words sounded awfully full of knowing. I looked right at her, Gracie looked right at me, and damnit to the mothership if her eyes were sparkling with mischief. Did she know? She must! Wait…did she? Was she in on the Tooth Fairy Conspiracy? She had asked very leading questions about Santa the past two Christmases, but since her sister had been around each time, so there wasn’t a chance for me to confirm her suspicions. The only option I had was to heap shovels full o’ magic and believing on top of her and cross my fingers. I thought it worked…but did it?

I sent the kids off to school and then, yeah, I started breathing into a paper bag. The Ex agreed. I was going to have to do it. I was going to have The Talk with Gracie about who exactly was behind all that magic. And then her childhood would be over and she might hate me and my heart would break into a million pieces. And how was your Monday?

One of my co-workers tried reassuring me: didn’t I remember when I knew, but didn’t want to know, and didn’t want to let on that I knew so I could keep the presents coming? NOOOOO!, I told him! I never suspsected! I was the gullible kid who kept right on believing, until my mom had to break it to me sometime after Christmas in third grade, and before fourth grade. I remember bawling, sitting there on my bed. I felt so betrayed by my mom, and so sad that there was no such thing as magic. I think having the magic ripped away was even worse than feeling betrayed.

You can see why I was little worried. Kim told me she thought Gracie would be fine. Gracie loves being in on secrets, and feeling like a grown-up – what better set up for that is there?! She could help me wrap Bee’s presents and feel like she’s in on alllll the secrets. Massive power trips always make her feel better. Ah, but I know my Gracie, and she’s also prone to dramatics. Her heartbreak could be epic. This could have gone down either way.

Which is why, last night when her sister was in the bath, I handed the kiddo a soda to try to buy me some goodwill. “Gracie, I have to talk to you about something.”
“When you said you thought you should get extra money for pulling your own tooth…did you believe that? Do you really believe in the tooth fairy?” I allowed a note of incredulousness into my voice, trying to lead her to the right answer.
“Absolutely!” she fervently agreed. “Who else could find Bee’s tooth when she lost it outside and put it back under her pillow?”


I changed tactics. “You don’t believe that Steggy – your sister’s dinosaur is real, do you?”
“No. I just say I do so she won’t be afraid. There aren’t dinosaurs outside, Mom. And they’re not nocturnal.”
“Right. Because that isn’t logical. It doesn’t make any sense. We just pretend so she’ll feel good and so she’ll believe in magic, and because it’s a little fun Like tooth fairies.”

I had to spell the whole dang thing out for her. And, um, whoops – she really didn’t have any idea. I explained the tooth fairy – and assured her that she would still get money, that nothing would change even after her sister had outgrown it. Then I had to explain that meant Santa too. I thought Gracie would break down then – she looked absolutely devastated. But she rallied when she remembered that she had even said that Santa’s handwriting looked like mine. Bless her little codebreaking heart. She connected the dots to the Easter Bunny on her own. And then she did panic.

“What about God, Mom?”

Rather than give her a complete existential crisis (hey, an 8-year-old can only take so much), I said simply, “God is real. Well, God is still the same.” She can grapple with this is-he-or-isn’t-he when she’s a little more equipped to figure out her own answer. But it made me giggle a little later that one of her first reactions was to think that the entire religious sector was in on pulling a fast. I mean, I guess that made as much sense as learning that parents were playing Santa.

After that, she was completely okay. As in, unfazed. As in, really, not a single tear shed. The complete opposite of where I thought the night was going. “Are you okay? Really? You’re fine?” I asked her more than once. I told her about when I found out so she’d feel like she had “permission” to lose it a little, if she wanted. Then I played up the whole top secret nature of the Santa conspiracy. She was NOT to tell her sister – she could help me play Santa, but she wasn’t to say anything. She could NOT tell her friends. Most of them probably didn’t know, and even asking if they believed might be the thing that made them not believe any more, and that wasn’t fair. She could talk to any grown-up about it as long as she made sure it was in private, so little kids didn’t accidentally overhear anything. And, most of all, she was NOT to overdo it around her sister or anyone. “You’re a horrible liar, Gracie,” I told her. And it’s true: if she’s lying for someone else, if there isn’t any self-preservation involved, the kid couldn’t lie to save her life. Lying to me about brushing her teeth, though, sometimes she can get away with it.

Gracie laughed, knowing how true my statement was, and agreed to all of the club rules. That was it. In the blink of an eye, my kiddo wasn’t a little kid anymore. In real life. She was cool with it. We didn’t even need to make an emergency phone call to Auntie Kim, who, anticipating her ability to talk out loud after a root canal, starting practicing saying, “Thanta ith weal in thpirit, Gwacie.” But all the practice was in vain – Gracie, it turns out, is more ready to grow up than any of the grown-ups in her life are. Which is just as it should be.

I think I might have just died a little.

April 7, 2010

Either that or a fairy just died. Or a whole forest of fairies. It’s that horrible.

I was just humming along, doo diddly dee, giving the girls their bath. (They played outside yesterday at daycare. Trust me – they needed a bath.) And while I was rinsing their hair, Gracie was staring up at the ceiling to avoid getting soap in her eyes. We have this game that we play while we’re doing this to keep them distracted for the absolute of horror of getting a wee bit of water in her eye, which is to list all of things we could see in the sky.

“Sunshine!” Gracie yelled.
“Clouds!” I countered.
“Rainbows!” she added.
“Raindrops!” I added. It was a new one – quite an accomplishment considering how long we’ve played this game.
“It can’t rain in the morning,” Gracie tried to argue.
“Sure it can! It rains lots of times when we go to school,” I defended.
“Fairies!” Gracie yelled.
“Umbrellas!” I was on a rain kick, I guess.
“Umbrellas can’t fly!” Gracie argued.
“Sure they can! Mary Poppins arrived on one. Remember?”

And then…it happened:

“Mary Poppins was just pretend! People can’t fly! Movies are make-believe!” Gracie sounded so logical. So…grown-up. If only I had known the worst was yet to come.

“Gracie, people can’t fly, but Mary Poppins could – she had magic!” I tried to reason with her. Her almost-six-year-old self wasn’t having it.

“Magic isn’t real!”

And that’s when I and my gang of fairies and pixies all fell over dead. Please don’t revive me; I’m not sure I want to exist in a world that my daughter believes is devoid of magic. Even if I don’t believe she means it.

The love that remains the same.

March 19, 2009

One of the perks of this whole time change thing is that it’s dark outside when we have to get up in the morning. The girls – Bee, especially – are fascinated that we’re up when it’s still dark outside. “Almost late?” Bee still asks, confused. “No, it’s just really early. The sunshine isn’t awake yet,” I remind her every morning.

When we pour ourselves and all of our accoutrements into our Zippy Red Jeep and head off to daycare, work, and the rest of our day, it’s still dark outside. I love that the sun isn’t in my eyes. Gracie loves the new routine for an entirely different reason. “Mommy, I can see the moon!” she exclaimed in rapture. And as if that wasn’t already the height of cool, “and it’s following us, Mom! It’s following us! Wow. The moon must really love me if he is following only me!”

The way she so easily gave herself over to the magical belief that the moon was there to adore and protect her made me smile (a rare treat so early in the morning). I remember riding home in the car from my aunt and uncle’s house when I was a little girl and telling my mom the same thing. I was enchanted just as my little girl is. To this day, the sight of the moon on a clear night has a calming effect on me. I feel like she is there, awake, watching out for me. My Mother Moon Goddess, as the Ya-Yas would say. It’s the kind of love and magic that lasts throughout generations, I guess.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone! May love shine down on you today and bring a smile to your face.